The communication industry is set to take on video and virtual reality as a key trend for 2017. Let's have a look at a few great VR campaigns from around the world, to see how PR professionals in Australia can start using the new phenomenon.
Launched in 2016 by Amnesty International, this campaign uses VR to teach people about everyday life in war-torn Syria. The result is hard-hitting and informative, and opposes what's taking place in Syria with what President Assad claims is happening. While we are always hearing about Syria on the news, it's hard to relate to something that is so different to our current situations.
Virtual reality allows us to do just that. It engages us emotionally, meaning we are more likely to agree to the call to action at the end of the campaign and donate. VR's ability to help us understand otherwise incomprehensible situations is surely something that communication professionals will start using more widely, especially those that work for charitable organisations.
Mercedes-Benz teamed up with popular Instagram dog, Loki, and his owner, Kelly Lund, to create this 2016 VR campaign. It features the pair driving Mercedes' new GLS through the snowy peaks of Crested Butte, Colorado. Although the video features a few shots of the car doing great in the difficult conditions, this is more of a soft sell peace. It's about the experiences you can have with the GLS, rather than being about the car itself. This is a great example of using influencer marketing and shows us how we can make a social media platform that mainly uses static images, like Instagram, come alive through VR.
A lot of Australian PR focuses on tourism, an industry ideally suited to this. At the beginning of last year, Tourism Australia launched a campaign which involved posting 360 videos on their YouTube channels of popular destinations across the country. It also took viewers underwater with several focusing on the country's great diving scene. The footage was an excellent example of the way the tourist industry can use PR to suggest new places for prospective visitors – and get them more excited about destinations they've already heard of.
The rise of VR has given us a lot of new ways to communicate with audiences. For more information on new trends in the communication industry, please go to our Insights page.